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Us 7, Mta 4, Wiener 4, Mr. Risken 3, San Francisco 2, Chiu 2, Lea 1, Tpi 1, Mtc 1, The Union 1, Lrv 1, The Tpi 1, Embarcadero 1, John Haley 1, Mr. Haley 1, San JosÉ 1, Theedz 1, Carlin Cole 1, Tep 1, Transit First City 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    November 22, 2012
    1:30 - 2:00am PST  

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month, sitting down with operators, with the training department, with the union, to evaluate ways so that we can make improvements on those lines, while the tep progress is underway. on the capital side, wed%jpip e some reference to this. thanks to the support of the board of supervisors, we have 62 new hybrid buses that will be coming to us this spring, an exceptionally fast procurement cycle by previous standards. thanks to john haley's leadership, to significantly streamline that process and get those buses much sooner than we would have otherwise. he also have -- you also have approved contract for rehab of a bunch of our existing buses in addition to the lrv fleet we have programmed which i'll speak about in a moment. in these overhaul projects we're identifying the components on
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the vehicles that are the most prone to failure, getting them replaced or rehabilitated. the results so far, the ones that come out of rehab for backup, for lack of a better term, perform much better than the rest of the group which has direct impact on the performance of the system. and the new buses you approved were hybrid buses. we have trolley bus procurement coming right on the heels of that. estate division as well as with the union on making sure we have adequate restroom facilities for operators. it may seem not very much related, but having decent, clean, safe rrmt restrooms for r operators is an essential part of our offering system because if we don't have them they have to defer off route to use the facilities that we take for granted. it's very important for our
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operators. and then the lrv program, we've got 25% of the fleet has been rehabilitated. the doors and steps, which were the highest failure component of the lrvs have been rehabbed and we have a program to rehab all of the rest and i'll speak more to the rehab ò(  we're proposing, moving forward. i mentioned in the capital budget we're making some significant investments in those really mission critical assets. here's just an example of what we have in our current budget. very significant investment in state of good repair, the church and duboce rail project is just about completed and anyone who's ridden the n judah or j church has noticed a significantly better ride experience as a result, there were many aspects of the system there, the rails,
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were overdue in terms of need of replacplacement and we basically have brand new infrastructure there. we're doing the same thing -- at the same time we did carlin cole on the other side of the sunset tunnel we will soon be doing the sunset tunnel itself as well as the muni metro turn around by the embarcadero. a pretty core of our system as well as the green facility which is the light rail facility for the city replacing all of the track work at that facility as well as the overhead wires. a substation upgrade which will help on performance of some of our trolley buses on the east conversion which will speed up muni coming inbound particularly the 6 and 17 lines. -- 71 lines. we have 60 no trolley coaches coming that will replace the
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oldest, outside of the historics in our system. they're close to being historic themselves. so which leads us to this current program, the tpi. the mtc, metropolitan transportation system established this program to focus on two things, one was transit ridership and the other transit system productivity. they did, as most know, made explicit in the approval of this program, programs to provide fair relief to low income youth. >> supervisor wiener: i want to clarify one thing. in terms of the history at mtc. mtc rejected the specific lifeline funding for san francisco's free muni program back in the summer,
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correct? >> that's correct. >> supervisor wiener: and in terms of the tpi money, the free i think everyone agrees for that but i want to be very clear that mta is not required to use the money for that purpose. mta has the discretion in terms of whether to allocate all or portions of the money to free muni program, to maintenance, to new vehicles or other operational needs. >> yeah. that's absolutely correct. the wñ?ñ? mtc considered an earr proposal, late spring/early summer, to make funds available explicitly and only for youth fare program, both here and in san josé. that did not get the approval of the mtc. around that same time the mta board approved our two year budget for the mta. month youth fare pilot that would provide for free fare or
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zero dollar fare for low income youth contingent on funding froñ mtc. the understanding at that time that it would be this funding spring/early summer that was available only for that use. the tpi program has made funding available for that use but it's available for other uses as well and we could use all or none of it arguably for the youth fare part of this. but i do want to point out again that increased ridership was one of the main goals of the tpi program and a larger -- i think it was called transit sustainability project that mtc undertook for a couple of years, out of which came the tpi. so it's on that basis that we're making the recommendations that we are going to be making. >> supervisor wiener: mr. risken would you agree improving muni's reliant would increase ridership if it went from 58% liability to say 70 or
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75% reliant and had more vehicle capacity because of fewer breakdowns and more vehicles do you think that would increase ridership? >> absolutely. >> supervisor wiener: okay. >> supervisor elsbernd: mr. risken in your budget that approved your full year budget that approved these dollars assuming they came in, was there operating budget for increased cost associated with muni? >> there were -- in the budget that we put forward, which i believe was $9.4 million over the 22 month period, so just short of two years, the main portion of that was the revenue offsetting the revenue loss. there was a very small amount for administrative cost, for a maintenance, in car maintenance, graffiti abatement, a little bit more staffing for our muni transit assistance program. it did not include service for
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increased operations should ridership increase to the point where we need to administer service. >> supervisor elsbernd: help me understand that a little bit. in the off -- the budget, as you assumed offsetting revenue what did you do? you assumed x number of youth ride muni today, if they didn't have to pay the fare, this would be the dollar figure? >> that's correct. >> supervisor elsbernd: so that's what's in the budget. >> correct. >> supervisor elsbernd: if this mtc money is supposed to be about increasing ridership, our increase in ridership but it's just assuming status quo. >> it's assuming the existing capacity of the system would absorb the increased ridership. afternoon -- >> supervisor elsbernd: you're assuming increased ridership will have no cost, we'll just absorb that. >> that's what the budget assumes. >> supervisor elsbernd: subject the mtc money designed to help us allay costs associated with increased ridership? >> well it's meant to increase ridership. the main thrust of this whole
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program was also to improve productivity. so we're now being measured at a regional level on passengers per hour and cost per hour. so the idea is to be able to increase ridership while decreasing costs. sot focus of this mtc program was both -- now, clearly, if we have a very significant surge in ridership, as opposed to say this fare change or any other issue, there likely will be operational impacts. you know, as a transit first city, i think that would be a good problem to have. if we have more ridership than we can deal with, we need to look at ways to deal with that ridership that's something we'll have to deal with. >> supervisor elsbernd: your overall budget, how are you doing with your overall budget? you going to close the fiscal year with your budget the way it is, the two year budget?
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supplemental? >> our current fiscal budget is 228 million. we're projecting revenues about a million or two over that, expenditures with a million or two under that. we don't expect a supplemental this year or next year. >> supervisor wiener: you made a comment about we may end up having more ridership than the system can accommodate -- or additional ridership that strips -- surpasses the capacity of the system. to be very clear there are currently lines notice city where ridership completely exceeds capacity. and i know you've been at castro station during rush hour, when people physically cannot squeeze onto the trains because of the terms of lightwmn: rail vehicley understanding is muni right now has no ability when a light rail goes out of service to bring a spare or a backup into service,
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that we have basically an exact number in the system and no spare lrv capacity? is that right. >> on weekday morning we need 114 light rail vehicles. often our availability is right around 114. i mentioned we have 25% of our vehicles come through a rehab program where the doors and steps have been rebuilt which has been the biggest single failure mode. result of those old vehicles coming back on line, including an acceleration of some wrecked vehicles, we have about eight vehicles that were significantly damaged that are coming back on line, that number of vehicles will be going up. and what i would say, there's no question there is significant crowding in the morning, living of on the inner part of the city, there are many lines, n, 21, 5, 1, that people can't get on, or have a difficult time
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getting on the at least the first bus that comes by. that is not necessarily an issue of how much budgeted service we have. there are factors that contribute to that crowding, such as the spacing of the vehicles. so when a vehicle breaks down, or has a problem that creates space, which creates crowding on vehicles. i mentioned operator availability that we're working on. so there are -- if we were executing our budgeted service as well as possible, some ofá issues -- some of those crowding issues would be alleviated. it's not always that we don't have enough buses and trains. it's that they're not operating at a reliable and regular enough basis to smooth out the crowding which creates overcrowding on system vehicles and underuse on3 other victims. >> supervisor wiener: in addition you just made two points, the problems result from the vehicle breaking down, or
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operator availability. so if you don'tz,( bu have enouh operators and if vehicles, due to, you know, lack of maintenance for example, or lack of rehabilitation or breaking down, that causes significant operational impacts for riders. >> that's correct. that's why we're grateful for your support for both replacement and rehab of vehicles that have come through the mta board. i believe we have enough operators in the budget. we just need to make sure that we're managing to make sure that we have the right number of operators available at the beginning of each shift. so i don't see that necessarily as a budget issue. that's more of a management issue. >> supervisor wiener: so when a packed bus, when everyone has to get off because there is no replacement operator, that's not a resource issue? at least in part? >> correct. >> supervisor wiener: as i understand it, mta is not
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training operators quickly enough to fill the needs of the system. is that not true? >> well as i said, we've significantly increased the amount of training we're doing to get more in the front door more quickly. but if you look at the number of budgeted positions we have in the agency, we should have enough operators, i believe, to provide our service plan. we have a number of operators> we have a number that aren't available for different reasons every day. that's the solution. more resources, i don't think that's what this is for, but more resources to just hire more operators would be a way to address that problem. i don't think that's the right way to address the problem. i think we need to manage the resources we have better, and as i explained, that's exactly what we're doing. i think we're starting to see improvement along those lines. >> supervisor wiener: thank you. >> so the -- on the slide here shows a little bit what's happened in terms of youth
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ridership which is why we think that this is a legitimate area of concern. this somewhat coincides with the rise in the cost of the youth fast pass which in a short period of time went from 10 to 22, i think it's now 22 or 24 dollars a month. as supervisor wiener said it is still greatly discounted. it's 70% discount over the full fare but you can see we've had as measured by youth fast pass sales we've had a lop-off in ridership. as we're trying to be the from it first city and trying to develop appreciation for transit as a way to get around, we believe that reversing this trend is an important policy goal that is consistent with the transit first policy and the so as a result, what i'm planning to recommend to my
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board, and i look forward to hearing after the fact the discussion from this hearing but what i'm currently planning to recommend to my board is this allocation of these resources. a 12 month program for the reduced youth fare. it would be free for low income youth. the reason why it's a shorter duration is, one, we're starting a lot later than we were originally planning, two, because these funds have opportunity costs so there are tradeoffs we have to make with these funds that weren'ttsjp+ñ n consideration before, and, three, because we're looking at a higher income threshold for the program to reach a greater number of youth. but you'll see the bulk of what we're proposing for the use of lrv, the fleet. we've been focusing -- we have a
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program to fund all of the doors and steps being overhauled. we got some additional funds. i think it might have been stimulus funds to replacement stimulus funds to replacement equipment underneath thek" this 5.1 would allow us to do the trunks of these vehicles which will further vehicle reliability. we are putting this in direct investment on the lrv system while some of the -- on the bus side, the new procurement and the over haulses will help improve reliability. i will be happy to take more questions. i need to hop upstairs. >> supervisor wiener: two quick questions. mr. risken, i want to emphasize, and i've said this to you before and i'll keep saying it, you san francisco, bar none. i am a big fan of you and
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mr. haley in the leadership of long-term hole and i think you're doing a lot of extremely positive things. so this:6jpñ disagreement, i dot want anybody thinking that i don't think highly of you. in terms of the long-term, this is the free muni program is a pilot program, and the pilot program will end, i imagine among supporters of the program to either continue the pilot or make it permanent. there will also be i'm sure requests from -- and i've heard talk about it, free passes for seniors, for persons with disabilities. and those communities are certainly equally worthy to yeeth youth and have traffic challenges as well. how is mta going to respond to request to continue this program
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and probably to expand]v' it? how will that be paid for and can you assure me that there won't be operational money that will be used for that. >> so that's a great and very reasonable question. and thank you also for your comments. i guess what i would say to that, it's first of all what to my attention last year as we were going through this is that we have a fare structure right now that offers discounts primarily based on age, not based on need, which really doesn't make sense. right now a very high income senior or a young person pays less for -- to ride muni than a very low income adult. we do have an adult lifeline program, it's a 50% discount. while they're paying $32 a month, a low income adult, a very high income junior or senior, is getting an even steeper discount at $22, $24 a
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month. that doesn't make sense. so we're looking at our whole fare policy and this is something that mtc is looking at, to see if there's a way to rationalize that. there are federal regulations that govern us on the senior side but maybe non-low income young people should pay full fare. maybe seniors should pay closer to whatever the federal maximum is. i think it's 50%, that can afford it, whereas other seniors who can't maybe they should ride for free or reduced fare. we're trying to look at it more holistically. we're taking it, although i get there are people who believe and want this to continue once it starts, we're taking this seriously as a pilot and we will be evaluating its impacts on a number of different fronts to determine whether we think it's achieving importa not, that will give us some basis to have that discussion when it's coming to a close,
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next budget cycle. and then in terms of resources to continue it, should that be the desire of the mta board, you know, there are folks who will probably come up and speak who will say that they have committed to working with us to identify funding sources. there's been discussion of trying to identify some non-city, non-transportation funding sources. but ultimately i think you're right. i think to the extent the there will be great pressure to continue it. we don't have a funding plan beyond what we're proposing here for the pilot. this would fund a piece this year and we would use next year's tpi fund to fund the balance on the next 12 months. beyond that we have to take it up in our budget next year. >> supervisor wiener: you mentioned 40% decrease in youth ridership. how did you get that? my understanding that has to do with clipper usage is that
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right? >> the decrease? yeah, the decrease is just youth fast pass sales. that data on that slide is just youth fast pass sales. >> supervisor wiener: was there any actual -- how many youth are actually riding the buses? >> we don't have a good way of measuring that so the youth fast the fast pass sales. that was the increase from 10 to 21? >> yeah it wasn't from 20 to 20 and indexes to 21. i think it's now 22. >> supervisor wiener: did mta consider reversing that back to 10? >> i think back when we started this we looked at a number of things. we looked at lowering the fare for all youth, we looked at free fare for all youth. what came to us there is a certain youth population that has a need and maybe another youth population that doesn't. so we thought that kind of separating it that way and focusing on where the need is as opposed to where we typically do
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things just based on age made more sense. >> supervisor wiener: thank you very much. >> supervisor chiu: thank you. i want to echo what supervisor ween said about the challenges you face in your job and thank you for what you're doing, trying to balance the different interests we have. i probably come to a slightly different conclusion than supervisor wiener on this issue and i want to echo your comments around how the decisions we're facing should not be framed as an either/or discussion. i think that really does create a bit of a false dichotomy about the fact many of us support trying to really move forward on a number of different fronts. i know that today's discussion is to some degree really contrasting an approach around whether we should invest in maintenance and capital needs versus free -- for youth. first of all i appreciate the changes that have been made during the two year discussion around so-called free muni for
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youth that today we're focusing on free muni -- that is a in the context of our recent and school bus problem. i think it's important to build new ridership among a new generation of young people who very soon will be our working adults in our city. question i have for you is i obviously -- and i think there's no one on the board who would disagree with the fact we want to support maintenance needs and capital needs. i want to highlight the fact that i think 76% ever what you are proposing to your board would be going to those long-term capital needs. how do you make these balancing decisions? you know you pick 23% of the 6.7 million dollar number to go for free muni for low income youth versus 76% to go to the light rail vehicle rehabilitation needs. within your shop, how areeynnjou making these balancing
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decisions? >> so we have a capital projects prioritization and a process and system. so we have kind of at any time, for any grant funding or funding source that becomes available, wej%(ú!z of have a list queued p we can match to the appropriate funding source. in this case, in terms of improving transit reliability or productivity, we had kind of a number of things in queue, with the lrv, additional rehab at the top of the list. because of the discussions about the youth fast pass and the previous approval by the mta board and the allowableity for this grant program what we did was not very scientific. we just looked at the fact that the soonest we could get a program up and running would be probably february. that leaves five months of the fiscal year, five months of basically the revenue offset to support that program, would be
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the 1.6 million that we're proposing. so we chose that to book end one side and use the balance for what we've determined to be one of our highest priority needs and we don't otherwise anticipate getting funding for which was the lrv overhaul. >> supervisor chiu: i hope for all members of the public who may view as one set of priorities slightly different from others i hope we can come together to figure out how we can ensure the next generation of riders as well as capital improvements to our system. >> supervisor elsbernd: the last comment i had to follow up, my understanding is correct i saw the chart that said 1.6 million for 12 months. it's 1.6 million for just five months of the last bit of the fiscal year? >> that's correct so we would recommend another -- it would be probably 1.82 million of next year's allocation for the balance of the 12 month program.
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>> supervisor elsbernd: how much is that allocation? >> that will depend in part on what the mtc commission does. >> supervisor elsbernd: it's 23% of this year's allocation but we have no idea of what the percentage is of next year. >> the staff recommended and commission approved 18 million based on ridership. muni has more ridership than almost the rest of the region combined, more than 40% that that's how we got 6.7 million. staff is recommending different options next year and we hope to work with our mtc commissioners to stick with a formula that reflects the usage of our system as this year's formula. at the upper end it would probably be on the order of 6.7 million, but it could be as low as the 4 million depending on how mtc allocates. >> supervisor elsbernd: 12 months for low income youth will cost approximately 3 1/2 million, 3.3, somewhere in that
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range? >> that's correct. >> supervisor elsbernd: and in the chart you used to justify this program and i've heard this point before, we saw drop in the youth ridership when fares went from 10 to 22. what would be the dollar figure, if instead of going from 22 to zero, you went from 22 to 10, if that's what caused the drop? >> like i said most of the cost of the program is the anticipated revenue loss. so if we -- it would basically cut the cost of the program in half. for us to administer a program -- if we changed all youth fares to 10 across the board that would be easy, something we could do virtually overnight. to have two different class of youth fares would be administratively cumbersome. as i said we're really trying to and get away from you're young so you ride more inexpensively.
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>> supervisor elsbernd: okay. >> thank you. >> supervisor elsbernd: thank you. any -- ed's go th -- got to lea. any other questions for mta staff? seeing none, go to public comment. hopefully you have filled out a card. i'm going to let supervisor wiener read out the cards. one thing i would ask, after you testify, if you could then move into the overflow room. there are tvs there, you will still be able to watch and hear but we need to open up space for folks who are starting to stand. once you testify if you could please move to the other room we would appreciate that. thank you. >> supervisor wiener: thank you. we'll open up public comment. i will call cards. if there is anyone who is senior or disabled or who otherwise has kids with them, otherwise needs to go early, theedz to be accommodated, we're happy to do that. our public comment will be two minutes. when you have 30 seconds left, you will hear a soft

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